19 MARCH 2014
FREDERICTON – Green Party Leader David Coon is calling on Premier David Alward to publicly release the contract his government signed with JD Irving to guarantee wood supply from Crown land. Coon says that under the Crown Lands and Forests Act, the terms of JD Irving's Crown timber licenses already authorizes the company to harvest timber for twenty-five years and requires it to describe its plant investments and employment levels for a ten year period.
“New Brunswckers and First Nations have a right to know what David Alward has signed away to the Irvings," said Green Party David Coon. "I am concerned that this contract obligates New Brunswickers to compensate JD Irving if public efforts to re-build local forest economies, establish community forests, resolve aboriginal title, or increase conservation measures in the future diminishes the amount of wood the government has agreed to provide the company over the long-term," said Coon. "I worry this contract handcuffs the hands of future governments to the policies of the Alward government," said Coon.
The contract with signed with JD Irving is unprecedented in the history of Crown lands management and has no legal basis in the Crown Lands and Forest Act.
"First Nations and all New Brunswickers have a right to see what obligation the Alward government has imposed on us with this contract," said Coon.